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But the Dead are Many by Frank Hardy

But the Dead are Many by Frank Hardy

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But the Dead are Many

A Novel in Fugue Form

by Frank Hardy

The Bodley Head, 1975, [First Edition], ISBN 0370105702, hardcover, dustjacket

Very Good Condition, some edge and shelf wear, some rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, dustjacket shows some edge and shelf wear with some rubbing, bumping, creasing and small chips and tears to edges and corners (see photographs)

“John Morel, a leading figure in the Australian Communist party, disappears and dies in a remote country hotel in suspicious circumstances.  It looks like suicide, but why?  Deeply puzzled, his friend Jack sets out to trace that last fateful journey, consulting John’s family and friends and discovering unexpected facets of his character.  In the end he comes on John’s last testimony.  Jack’s narrative of his search is interspersed with quotations from this and from John’s earlier writings.
By this skilful alternation of reporting and autobiography, we are shown John Morel’s divisive upbringing with his Catholic mother, atheist father and resentful half-sisters, his period in a Roman Catholic seminary, his conversion to Communism in the 30s, his ambivalent marriage and his uneasy friendships with other members of the Party.
During his first visit to Moscow in 1938, John attends sessions of the great Trial in which one of the prominent victims is Nicolai Buratakov, whose writings had influenced his decision to become a communist, Much later, on a subsequent visit, he embarks on a tempestuous affair with Buratakov’s daughter, Anna.  So his life becomes intertwined with the victims of the Stalin monolith.  And. As the monolith crumbles, so does John’s character.
Through apparently much concerned with ideology, the novel also explores other social and psychological problems: the impulses behind the act of suicide, the relationships between the individual and the group, between childhood fantasy and adult behaviour, and between death and transcendence.”


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